Archive | May, 2010

A Lovely Montreal Lady & A Singing Spring Asparagus Salad, what a duo.

29 May

This lovely Montreal lady is a good friend of mine and the one who introduced to me many recipes. This lady and I love going to the Jean Talon market to buy some market fresh seasonal ingredients. We make it into an adventure whenever we go, ask her about the time we bought some pepper plants! Her name is Teo, she is a fearless cook, who can throw herself into any recipe with a sense of enthusiasm and adventure that is almost enviable. I have invited her to share some of her recipes and she so graciously agreed! Here is Teo’s Singing Spring Asparagus Salad.
⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

Wild rice is actually a seed, not a grain, so it’s a great go-to for
those of you eating paleo or staying away from refined carbs. [So is
quinoa, actually, but more on that later if Helen wants to invite me
back.] Asparagus is synonymous with spring, and whenever I see it in
big bunches at the market I get a little giddy. It’s everywhere now,
so try to get your fill before it’s gone. If you go to the Jean-Talon
market
, there’s a man selling bunches of wild Québec asparagus, for
pennies (South side, next to the fresh eggs and where, later, the
awesome garlic will be). Mental. If you get wispy thin stalks
(smaller than a pencil) then you should chop them in
two-centimeter-ish long pieces. Anything little-finger sized and
bigger should be chopped very thin. You might want to do them on the
thickest setting of your mandolin, if you have one…ie, about the
thickness of an earlobe would be good. Enjoy!

For this recipe you will need
Ingredients
4-6 leaves of fresh sage, slivered (tarragon would be good too)
1 french shallot (or a few tablespoons of onion), diced very very finely
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced as per headnote
1 handful and a half of hazelnuts
1 to 1 1/2 cups of wild rice
1-2 lemons, juiced (depending on how juicy your lemons are and how
tart you like your dressing)
1 small dollop of dijon mustard (3/4 of a teaspoon-ish)
Salt and pepper
Touch of maple syrup, agave, or raw honey
4-5 tablespoons of sunflower oil (or olive, if that’s what you’ve got)

Directions
1. Cook the wild rice, with a ratio of 1:3 rice:water. You might
want to do this the night before, it takes a while. Let it cool.
2. Roast your hazelnuts for a few minutes under the broiler or in a
pan. Once they darken, you can remove them and roll them around in
your hands if you want and the skins will rub right off. Not
necessary, but its up to you. This is especially good if you are a
notorious forgetter of nuts under the broiler, like I am. If you’ve
all about the raw, you can skip this step…but you’re missing out on
a little flavour.
3. Crush the nuts. If you’ve got a mortar, bust it out. If not, put
the nuts in a sandwich (or vegetable) bag, place it on a cutting
board, and hit it with a knife handle until you get the right
consistency. You are going for pumpkin-seed sized pieces. Stop or
you’ll get to flour.
4. Toss the salad ingredients together. Enjoy the colour combo.
5. Whisk your lemon juice with the mustard until frothy. Add your
sweetener. Your goal is to take the edge off, here, so be careful and
just use a touch. You don’t want to taste it in the final product.
6. Season to taste. Add the oil and whisk some more. Sunflower is
preferable because it is lighter and has a more muted flavour. Since
the flavours in this are subtle, you want to let them shine as much as
possible. But olive works, so don’t worry about it if that’s what’s
on hand.
7. Toss it all up! It’s a good idea to let this sit for a few
minutes before you eat it. The time to pour yourself a drink or get a
good book to read in the sun while you eat…

Enjoy! And thanks for having me.

Variations: if you’ve been to the market and have found some fresh
sweet green peas, you might try tossing them in here. If you do, I
recommend skipping the sage and opting for fresh mint instead. Fresh
mint and fresh peas is a marriage made in heaven…

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You better eat those green beans!

25 May

a phrase I would hear a lot from my mother when I was younger. Lucky for me, I love green beans now. My trick as a child was thinking of them as green french fries my trick now is knowing how to prepare them. My favorite way is by making a green bean salad. I like going to ‘the PA’ as most Montrealers refer to it, to get some of the cheapest produce in the city. They lists their specials online and even have recipes to look at, a reason why its worth the trek. Anyways back to the easiest green bean salad ever… and here we go….


For this recipe you will need

Ingredients
1 pound of green beans ( really as much as you want)
1 small garlic clove finely chopped
1/2 a cup of sliced almonds
olive oil
apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Steam the green beans once you have removed the ends
2. While steaming check to see if they are bright green
3. take a bite and see if they are crispy ( don’t burn yourselves)
4. Once they are ready throw the green beans into a bowl of ice cold water
5.Let them cool!
6. In the meantime, toast your almonds set oven at 250 c.
7. wait till the almonds begin to faintly smell, at this point they are done.
8. take the green beans and cut them into slices about 2 inches in length.
9. Add almonds, green beans, garlic, a generous shake of olive oil, about 1 TBS of apple cider ( cider can be added to your liking), salt and pepper to taste.
10. Finally, TOSS TOSS TOSS.

This salad is easy and versatile you can add other ingredients such as walnuts or even raisins to make it a bitter sweeter. What I think makes a huge difference with this salad is the type of ingredients used. The type of olive used can really enhance the taste of your salads as well as do nothing for it. This however deserves a whole post onto itself! So until then, enjoy the salad!

If you have any questions drop me a line!

It’s BBQ season, keep it fresh.

20 May

Everything tastes great on the BBQ. Meats, tofu, portobellos and vegetables, anything goes! We have an old charcoal Weber that works wonderfully and gets a lot of attention over the summer months. As any avid meat eater, vegan or vegetarian knows… marinating is the key to spicing up an old favorite and the BBQ is the tool that renders it delectable. An another option is homemade pesto. Unlike the original homemade pesto can be anything you want them to be. After reading a recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple, I was inspired to try this cilantro pesto but I didn’t have many of the required ingredients. Keeping with my mantra, I went ahead and substituted and omitted more then half of the ingredients. I have to say I think my cilantro almond pesto turned out pretty good!

For this recipe you will need
Ingredients
1 handful of cilantro/coriander leaves
1 small handful of baby spinach
1 heaping TBS of Almond butter
1 TBS of olive oil
1 tsp of sesame oil ( to taste)
1 lemon juiced
2 green onion chopped
1 tsp of tumeric
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. gather all your ingredients
2. measure and prepare them
3. BLEND THEM ALL ( that is my favorite part)
4. refrigerate and wait for the flavors to set

If you like a creamier pesto, then add more almond butter as you please… if you like a more textured pesto I would add some coconut flakes.

This cilantro almond pesto is great on pretty much any meat and tastes really fresh and is perfect for a BBQ instead of your usual go-to condiment. I would venture to say that it would taste great on some BBQ Tofu or even on a giant portobello.

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Happy BBQing!

The Kale Salad of Awesome

18 May

This salad is definitely a healthy treat. Last summer I had the chance to have some of this great salad when a friend of my mine passed down the recipe. WARNING, this is a hearty filling salad and may become addictive, that is why I call it The Kale Salad of Awesome.


For this Recipe you will need

Ingredients
1 large bunch of Kale
1 one medium/large ripe avocado
2 carrots
1 lemon
1 garlic clove, or more if desired
Olive oil
salt

Directions
1. de-stem Kale ( remove all the tough spines on the leaves)
2. Pour olive oil on kale ( be generous)
3. massage bit size leaves with olive oil until all the leaves are coated
4. let it soak up the oil while you…
Wait about 15 minutes. Time you can use to prepare the other ingredients.
5. cut up the carrots julienne style
6.cut the avocado in two halves cut lengthwise and crosswise incisions into the meat
7. juice the lemon
8.press the garlic
9. Salt the kale leaves generously and TOSS
10. Add lemon juice, avocados and carrots
11. TOSS TOSS TOSS

This salad is awesome for many reasons:
Reason number one, the ingredients are super healthy ! Kale is amazing, I usually buy mine at Rachelle Berry, its fresh and organic and yummy. Reason number two with regards to awesomeness, is the textures in the salad the ripe avocado and the hearty kale leaves are a great contrast that is enchanced by the garlic and lemon. Reason number three, the salad will not wilt even with the dressing after a night in teh fridge. So you can definitely make this salad to have the next day.

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Have a happy kale time !

Too Many Yummy Treats

16 May

So many tummy aches.

Usually on weekends, I tend to allow myself to indulge. A nibble becomes a bit, a bit a meal and a meal becomes a day or evening of eating foods that are honestly just harmful. It’s hard when you’re at a dinner party to say no. On weekends this proves even harder. I have started to find that some nice homemade lemon ginger tea seems to calm the tummy aches and clean the system.

For this Recipe you will need
Ingredients
1 lemon
about a pink sized portion of ginger

Directions

1.cut lemon into 6 slices
2.mince ginger (about a tablespoon)
3. Find a nice cozy cup
4. let it steep for about 5 minutes
5. ENJOY, and have as many cups as your tummy pleases.

for a nice treat add a tad of raw honey. This brand is very tasty and local! The soothing smell of the ginger and tang of the lemon and honey are nice and soothing on the belly. This recipe also helps sooth cold symptoms and is great for a soar throat.

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Enjoy!

The Convenience of Green

14 May

I really don’t like shakes. There is something about crunching down and chewing on food that makes the whole process all the more satisfying and psychologically more filling. Yet there is something to be said about a homemade shake. It easy to transport and you know exactly what is in it. In the mean time I have come up with this Green Banana Shake, super filling and dense due to the kale.

For this Recipe you will need

Ingredients
2 medium size kale leaves
1 large handful of spinach
3/4 cups of coconut flakes
1 medium size ripe banana
1/2 cup of mango cubed
1 lime juiced
1 tablespoon/TBS of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of cold water/some ice
Cinnamon to taste.

If the banana is very ripe I forgo the maple syrup.

Directions

1. Add all the ingredients to blender
2. BLEND BLEND BLEND

You should end up with a smooth green concoction. Now this recipe is flexible and you can add coconut milk instead of flakes and diminish the water.The only important thing to keep in mind is; what makes it taste fresh and tangy is the lime and the coconut. Really its all about experimentation and having fun. Keep the ” if i made it I have to eat it” mantra in mind. It is a good way to improve your taste buds and cooking skills. I like to have these shakes after a workout.

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Happy Blending.

Chocolate Flavored Almond Flour Muffins

14 May

After some tries and failures. I think I have fiddled enough with this recipe to pass it on. This is a paleolithic/primal version of almond muffins. I have taken personal observations and suggestions from Mark Sisson’s blog and have made chocolate flavored almond flour muffins.

The main ingredient is almond flour. Which is hard to find here in Montreal. It is either overpriced, or simply unavailable. The options are as follows. You can go on to www.nutsonline.com, a great site that has many different types of flours, nuts and dried fruits. It ships to Canada and is not overpriced.

The other options are as follows; make your own. Buy some blanched almond and grind them ( just not too much or you’ll end up with almond butter). The easy quick solution I found was Sunsource , there are two locations here in Montreal, one in Westmount or one in Outremont. Here you can find blanched almond flour/meal and you can buy in specific quantities.


For this Recipe you will need

Ingredients
3 eggs
1/2 a cup of unsweetened apple sauce ( for moisture)
1/2 of maple syrup or raw agave nectar
5 oz (140 g) almond flour (2 cups almond meal or finely ground almonds)
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons (1 fl oz) coconut oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla

I usually like to sprinkle some maple flakes on top of the muffins before I put them in the oven.


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F
2. Grease or use baking cups (yields 6 large muffins or 8 regular ones)
3. In a bowl beat the eggs with apple sauce and maple sugar for 3-5 minutes.
4. Add the coconut oil and mix well.
5. Add almond flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and baking powder, and mix gently.
6. Bake at 350 degrees until a until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes.

There are hearty healthy little yummy treats… they are not very sweet but are most definitely satisfying.They are gluten free and follow the primal blueprint. Feel free to experiment as I have.

If you have any questions drop me a line!

Happy Baking.

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